Getting in a car wreck is never any fun. Often, you might feel panicked when it happens to you. Your adrenaline rushes until you physically shake.
Even if the car wreck did not injure you, it will take some time to collect yourself and return to your normal life. There are a few steps you’ll have to take to get back to where you were before.
However, there is also a specific kind of car crash that we’d like to talk about today: when a drunk driver hits you. If this happens, you may want to handle the situation a bit differently than you would a normal car wreck. We’ll elaborate in the following article.
What is the Other Driver’s Temperament?
If you wish to know what to do if a drunk driver hits you, you should first see what their mood is right after the crash. You’ll need to check to see if the collision injured you or one of your passengers. You can take a few moments to assess yourself and them.
If the crash does not seem to have hurt you, you can get out of the vehicle and talk to the other driver. It is at this point when you might notice that the other driver seems to be under the influence. Perhaps they slur their speech, or maybe they weave from side to side once they get out of their vehicle.
This will cause you to suspect that they have been drinking, but you’re not a police officer, so you cannot prove it with a breathalyzer. You must wait for the cops to arrive to do that.
In the meantime, if the other driver seems relatively calm and coherent, you can start exchanging names, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers. This is common when another vehicle hits you.
The only thing that could be different about a car wreck where the other driver seems drunk is that they could be belligerent. They might insist that you caused the wreck, and perhaps they act aggressively toward you. Whether you caused the accident or they did is not relevant in that particular moment, though. What matters is that you’re civil with one another.
If the other driver seems angry and confrontational, get back in your car, close the door, and lock it. You can wait for the police to arrive so they can get the other driver under control.
Call the Authorities
You should waste no time and call 911 after a car wreck. Assuming the crash did not hurt you too badly, and you can at least operate your smartphone, calling 911 will get both the police and medical personnel to come to you. That’s the best move since you don’t know how badly the crash hurt you, your passengers, or the other driver.
You might feel okay at that moment, but maybe the adrenaline is coursing through you, and you don’t realize your injury extent. The same might be true with the other driver.
Steer Your Car Off the Road if You Can
Once you’ve called for help, you can try to steer the car off the active roadway. If the crash injured you too badly, you will not be able to do this. If the collision damaged your car badly enough, you might have to leave it where it is.
The most important thing is getting yourself and your passengers out of the roadway or off the highway. Sometimes, a second car wreck kills or injures someone because they remained out on the road. Other cars with drivers who are not paying attention might not stop in time, and you don’t want them to run you down while you’re still on an active thoroughfare.
Tell the Police What Happened
Once the police arrive, you can talk to them about what happened. This assumes you’re in good enough shape to do so. If the crash hurt you badly enough, you might have to head to the hospital and worry about this part of it later.
You can tell the police your name, give them your license plate number, and they will want your car insurance information too. You should have adequate insurance, or you should not be driving.
It’s at this point that the police will also determine if the other driver has consumed alcohol recently. If you think that the other driver is drunk, it does no harm to say so. The police can administer a breathalyzer to see if they’re over the legal limit. If they are, the police should arrest them on the spot.
You Can Go Home and Contact Your Insurance Company
Next, you can get a tow truck to collect your vehicle, or you can drive it home if the damage is not so bad. Once you get home, you can call your insurance provider and tell them what happened. It’s best not to admit you caused the accident, even if you think you did.
You can take some time to think about whether you want to hire a lawyer if you plan to sue the other driver. There are a few factors that will go into that, such as whether the crash hurt you and whether your insurance will cover all the damages. You may have car repair bills to think about, and also lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, and so forth.
One thing that you should realize based on this list of instructions is that it helps you a great deal to always have a smartphone on you when you go out for a drive. If you’ve got one with you, you can call for help if you need it.
You can also take pictures and videos at the crash scene. Those will likely come in handy later, especially if you think the other driver was drunk. Along with the breathalyzer results, those pictures and videos might prove your case in court if it comes to that.